Apple Inc. has bought a company making a GPS tracker for cyclists.
The San Francisco-based company, Girodata Inc., makes a range of products that track a cyclist’s position on the road, including a Bluetooth-enabled GPS unit and an electronic speedometer.
The company is a subsidiary of Garmin Inc., which was founded in 2002.
“It’s about a decade since GiroData started making products for cyclists and they have the expertise to create products for the next generation of cyclists,” Steve M. O’Donnell, chief executive of Giro Data, said in an interview.
“This is a very exciting time for cycling.”
The company was founded by the University of California at Berkeley’s Erik O. Holmström and John D. Holmberg.
Holstrom said that Giro was interested in making a “smart GPS for bikes” that would work with GPS trackers that have been made by Garmin and others.
“Giro is focused on bringing our expertise to the bicycle market,” Holmberg said.
“We are focused on providing high-quality GPS products that will benefit both cyclists and the cycling community.”
The announcement comes amid growing concerns about the safety of riding on the roads.
Giro said the company has developed “highly accurate and reliable products for use on bicycles.”
It has partnered with companies including Garmin, Garmin XC, Bontrager and other makers to create sensors that can track a rider’s position, including one that tracks the position of a rider with a GPS unit.
“A cyclist can track their position with their smartphone, tablet or any other smart device,” Giro data chief Erik Holmberg told Bloomberg News.
“You don’t have to be a GPS guru to be able to use this.”
Holmberg added that Grosod has built products that can be used on the streets and on public transportation.
“The fact that it’s being done by Garmin has never been mentioned,” he said.
Grosoda is a Swedish company that builds products for bikes and electric bikes.
Holmgren’s company has had more than a dozen patents filed for its GPS products, including for devices that can “follow” cyclists and other stationary objects on the ground.
Holmsburg said the GPS technology used by Giro would be compatible with existing Garmin products.
“Our goal is to bring the technology to the next level by providing a new and exciting solution for the bike-sharing market,” he wrote in an e-mail.
“At Giro, we are focused and committed to providing the best products for our customers.”
The Giro product, called a GPS Tracker, will be sold through a third-party retailer such as BikeBandit and Bontracer, the company said.
In addition to Giro’s product, the acquisition also includes Girobikes Inc., a bike-share company based in the Netherlands.
The companies declined to provide specific financial terms for the deal.